23 May 2014: Three years in the making, and this project is finally finished! I don’t think my new sleeve heads/armholes were fitted quite right, but luckily the awkward fold at that point is entirely hidden by the spectacular jabot.
All those changes to lengthen the neckline with their associated problems have ultimately paid off, since the V-neck looks lovely and actually matches the original photo. (If anything, it’s still a little high!)
Used the 1.50mm hook to execute the three rows of d.c. round the neck by guesswork, decreasing the number of stitches somewhat at each row; I think I may have decreased over-enthusiastically at the back in my attempts to avoid its stretching across the back of the neck, since the lace rather stands up from the edging at this point, but the effect is not displeasing. The pattern gives no directions as to whether the two sides of the collar should be sewn together where they meet at the back - I decided that they should. Ran a line of running stitch across the highest point of the shoulder (not the shoulder seam as directed, since lengthening the front straps to bring the V-neck lower has displaced the shoulder seam down the back) to help prevent the jabot’s weight pulling it forward.
4 May 2014: Worked one row with groups of 6 tr.tr. across central 3 scallops, and one row with groups of 6 tr.tr. across single large scallop in the middle. Last three rows are thus 5 tr.tr at row 19, and 6 tr.tr. at rows 20 and 21. Rows 18, 17, 16 and 15 were worked with groups of 5 d.tr., and rows 14, 13 and 12 with groups of 4 d.tr.
Changed back to 1.50mm hook to do picot edging in order to get the loops tight enough. Working groups of three 3-chain picots with 3 chain at end of group over first two scallops, then groups of four 4-chain picots with four chain at end of group over next two scallops, then groups of five 5-chain picots with five chain at end of group over central five scallops. (Doing 5-chain picots from the start using this fine yarn seems to make them too loose when in smaller groups.)
2 May 2014: Started working triple trebles at row 19, because double trebles were starting to have trouble stretching across between groups at widest point.
Worked two more rows (using 6 tr.tr. per group on row 21) across final three scallops, but decided that the jabot was now actually going to be too long - down below the start of the waist ribbing - and too wide. And the ‘steps* between the changes of level at the final edge of each scallop are simply too big with two rows of tr.tr.
So I undid all the work of the last two rows… I think I still need to use groups of 6 triple trebles because of the width issue at this point, but only to work a single row for the 3-scallop level and another single row for the single central scallop level. Presumably this is why the original pattern directs you to do only a single row of double trebles for the central scallop!
Sewed up most of one side of the jumper (side seam, set in sleeve, and half under-sleeve seam) while mulling this over, which took an amazingly long time. At least this will save my having to do that part of the sewing later on.
19 Apr 2014: Worked 3 rows with 4 d.tr., then switched to 5 d.tr. for the second half of that pair of rows. Presumably I either continue with 5 d.tr. until the end of the jabot or increase up to 6 at some point (the original pattern only does a couple of rows at 5 before reaching the centre-point).
I’m actually worried that it’s getting a bit too wide and hence not hanging properly now; I still have another 2 scallops to decrease plus a final row worked over the centre scallop. But then the original does look very wide and long… just not so heavy as this, because each row in itself is deeper… Currently on row 16, I think. (Original only goes up to 15.)
15 Apr 2014: Realised that of course I need to add an even number of scallops, in pairs one at each side! Fortunately a little extra length is probably all to the good here.
I now have six scallops down each side plus one large one at the point. Worked the first four rows according to the spirit of the instructions (i.e. repeated the bracketed directions as many times as needed to reach the centre scallop, rather than the number of repeats explicitly specified), then continued following row pattern working the double-treble groups outwards from the centre rather than according to instructions, i.e. on row five, work centre three scallops d.tr., on row six work centre five scallops, and so on up to row 10.
Worked rows 7 to 10 with 3 tr/d.tr per side of scallop instead of 2, as per instructions.
Effectively I have now reached rows 9 and 10 in the pattern, where I fasten off the yarn and start again, omitting the end scallops and working 4 d.tr per side of scallop: it’s just that because of the extra scallops I have had to work ten rows already in order to get this far, so they actually come out as rows 11 and 12!
The height seems to be about right with the extra rows thus included - so far the ends of the jabot are about the same depth as the ten-row version on the thicker yarn. I hope the extra rows involved in decreasing (again) by one scallop group at a time towards the centre will add sufficient extra depth to make a full-size jabot. Inevitably it’s going to look a bit more spidery than the first version, but it does seem to be beginning to ruffle convincingly now: I was worried that this crinkly yarn wouldn’t behave the same.
6 Apr 2014: I still haven’t sewn up the existing pieces, but I’ve done a test piece for the revised jabot and can see that I’m going to have to make considerable changes.
Worked according to the pattern on a 2.50mm hook (about the largest I want to use with this yarn), it comes out at 15” long round the neck, with each scallop measuring approx 1.5”. My new neckline is now 22.5” in circumference, so I need to add another five scallops. I shall also need to put in some extra rows of repeats on each scallop to get the required depth: presumably if I follow the pattern in so far as the number of scallops worked ‘small’ and/or decreased at each end goes, and work as many extra central ones as needed, then continue until I have only the specified number left in the middle, I shall automatically end up doing a number of extra rows while decreasing off the extras. I just hope it’s enough - and that the holes between the scallops are big enough to show up and look lacy when using the finer yarn. I may need to increase the number of d.trs worked per scallop in the final rows, too.
All in all, it’s going to be EXTREMELY slow. Fortunately I still seem to have a lot of yarn left on the cone, because I think I may need it.
16 Mar 2014: Welt ribbing finished! Now ‘all’ I need to do is to recalculate the lace for the jabot and sew the whole thing up.
Apparently it only took me two and a half months to do that ribbing… it feels like ever so much longer….
3 Mar 2014: Still churning through my second 60 rows of ribbing - now on row 44.
30 Jan 2014: I’ve calculated from the dimensions given in the pattern that I need six inches of ribbing for the welt of this garment - 55 rows is only going to give me just over five. So I need to keep going and keep track of how many rows I ultimately use so that I can match this endless trek on the other half… oh, joy.
9 Jan 2014: Picked up 120 stitches on No.11 needles for welt, skipping every 9th treble.
7 Jan 2014: Finished second sleeve, having been doing about five rows per week since September… though I had to rip the cuff back by a row after casting off, since it mysteriously ended up half an inch longer than the first cuff despite having the same number of rows. Next for the welt.
15 Nov 2013: Finally finshed my twelve decreases for the first part of second sleeve - very puzzled by the notes in my notebook, which don’t correspond to the chart I drew out! (e.g. I’m somehow supposed to have 72 stitches at this point, after doing 12 decreases of 2 stitches each from 98 stitches at the armhole…) It doesn’t really matter, except that the two sleeves need to match each other.
Folding this sleeve against the other, currently tacked-in, sleeve and counting rows suggests that I need to do another 30 rows - which corresponds with ‘five decreases at 6-row intervals’ - and counting the number of stitches at the cuff suggests that there are circa 64 stitches at that point. My notes for knitting on the cuff also direct me to pick up 54 stitches ‘skipping every 6th crochet stitch’, which would suggest that I ought to have circa 54+9 stitches at the sleeve end. So It looks as if I do indeed need to decrease another 10 stitches from my current count of 74 (98-12*2).
18 Sep 2013: Finished cap of second sleeve.
10 Sept 2013: Completed first sleeve, which seems to fit. I used Navajo 3-ply technique to knit the cuff instead of doubling the wool as recommended in the pattern, purely and simply because this avoided having to wind off a second ball of unknown length. However, it produces a nice springy cuff which is not much thicker than the triple crochet of the sleeve, and grips well, so this should work for the welt too.
I picked up 54 stitches on No.11 needles to produce a cuff just over 6 inches in circumference - on 2x2 ribbing, this gave me an extra single-rib at either end, but since this was already my third attempt at picking up stitches, and pulling three strands through the crochet loops was far from easy (I used a 2.5mm crochet hook), I couldn’t bear to do it yet again to get an even multiple of four stitches! No.11 needles feel very thick after the tiny crochet hooks I’ve been using with this yarn….
19 August 2013: Really worried about sleeve tension (the sleeve is at least an inch narrower than the pattern unless I squish it down - this crinkled acrylic yarn is inherently springy), so I decided I needed to try sewing it in to check that it fitted the armhole.
Fortunately the vertical tension is about right, and most of the sleeve cap consists of verticals; I still found myself ‘easing in’ the armhole to the sleeve rather than vice versa. There’s a certain tendency to wrinkle over the bust, which is either caused by this or the fact that I’ve put on half a stone since starting this project two years ago(!), but I think I can get away with this sleeve size.
Now all I have to do is continue down the endless decreases… another one decrease at 4 rows, then five more at six row intervals. Then I have to make a whole other sleeve!
6 August 2013: New hook seems to be working to duplicate old tension… but I’d forgotten just how slow crochet on this scale is… Another two decreases (of twelve!) finished.
26 June 2013: Put another two decreases on sleeve, but discovered that due to tension issues the new section of the sleeve was actually getting wider despite reduced numbers of stitches! Ripped back and tried making new tension square using 1.5mm hook in place of 1.75mm. This is closer to the 8tr/inch horizontal tension, but still taller than the 5 rows/inch vertical tension - maybe I should just rip the whole sleeve out and start again using the original pattern measurements (7sts/4rows/inch) and ignoring all my tension-related recalculations!
7 May 2013: Completed first sleeve cap. Still very worried about tension, but wrapping the piece around my shoulder suggests that it will probably work out all right. Only another 16 inches or so to go!
10 April 2013: Found missing sleeve pattern… being used as a bookmark for the relevant page! In fact I seem to have deduced everything correctly, and the extra armhole width is simply a result of sloppy cutting-out - an extra stitch on either side probably not necessary.
Calculated sleeve taper, working on the principle of a 17.5” sleeve minus 2” (knitted) cuff and tapering all the way from armhole, contrary to normal practice, since I want to lose extra width at this point as soon as possible; this is effectively acting as a gusset. Taper by 1 decrease every 4 rows twelve times, then every 6 rows five times = 17 stitches (per side) over 78 rows.
Started sleeve cap! Trying desperately to keep to old tension of 5 rows/inch, since my crochet technique has changed over the last 2 years and ‘proper’ technique tends to produce taller stitches for same horizontal tension… I think I may just about be able to get away with it.
9 April 2013: Yet again I’ve managed to keep the ‘wrong’ pattern piece - in this case the one I traced on the back of my calculations of the original sleeve cap and used as a mock-up for the shape of my test piece - and thrown away the one I actually needed, i.e. the one with the graphed increases and decreases!
I assumed it would be fairly easy to recreate the latter by tracing back over graph paper of the right size (8sts x 5 rows / inch), but it wasn’t until I unearthed the notebook with my original algebraic calculations in it that I was able to deduce that I had used 12 2-stitch decreases coupled with 6 1-stitch decreases, supposedly to achieve a total reduction of 32 stitches or 4” per side of the sleeve cap. And it wasn’t until I tried drawing this out again I realised that (24+6) only gives a total of 30 stitches decrease! So I had to use 13 2-stitch decreases to achieve the claimed slope of 32 stitches over 20 rows (the 20th row being the 3-stitch armhole reduction).
Moreover the figures in the calculations (3 stitches at each armhole plus 4” gradient plus 3.5” sleeve cap = 3 + 32 + 28 + 32 + 3) actually add up to 98 stitches instead of the claimed 96 (12”) - and when I measure the actual traced piece, this is 12.5” at the armholes (100 stitches)….
Probably looks as if I shall have to do a 4-stitch decrease at each armhole to get the existing shape - which has at least been proven to work in practice, if not in theory.
8 April 2013: Finally got round to tacking-up everything so that I can sew the trial sleeve on - it fits! (Two years later….)
Unfortunately the jabot now doesn’t fit, due to my having lowered the back neck and thus extended the entire neckline in addition to changing its shape. Not a tragedy as I was half-planning to remake this in the new strawberry yarn to match the rest of the jumper anyway - but it looks as if I’ll have to rethink the design for this as well.
23 March 2013: Completed successful mock-up on second attempt - now I only have to sew it in and try it on. The latter prospect is likely to be the challenge as the temperature has been struggling to reach 60 degrees indoors for the last few weeks; I usually try to spend as short a period as possible with my clothes off!
13 March 2013: Finally retrieved the cobweb jumper drafts that I had been sitting on (literally - they’re now moulded to the shape of the chair seat they have occupied for so long!) and had another go at drafting sleeves. Original sleeve cap turns out to have been very shallow (just as in pattern picture in fact…) but as I have added an inch and a half to the armhole size, possibly a bad idea, I shall have to add a couple of inches at least to the sleeve cap depth.
Spent about four hours re-drafting due to a series of false assumptions (including the fact that I seem to have thrown away my back piece draft and kept two fronts instead…) New shallow-ish sleeve cap designed with 15.5” circumference in place of original 13.5” (for a 14” armhole?!) Next task is to try to make up a mock-up and test again.
I think we can call the jumper officially un-hibernated :-D
3 Dec 2011: Draft of sleeves didn’t work out. Still stuck.
27 June 2011: redraft of body pieces is looking good! Now to learn how to draft sleeves.